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Monday, June 08, 2009
Pinto tears FOX's Michael Rosenberg a new one over the latter's half-assed draft column, and then invokes the nuclear option:
Abolish the draft, and let these amateurs sign for what the market will bear. Then we can stop having these idiotic discussions about what’s wrong with the draft. The draft is just wrong, period.
I haven't thought through all of the implications of such a thing in this day and age (given all of the changes to the baseball labor market, the example of the pre-draft system is probably of little utility), but as I sit here right now, I can't see how it would create any more problems than any of the draft "solutions" people have suggested. Sure it's radical, but only in immediate effect, not long term implications. At least I don't think so, anyway.
David is throwing it out there for us. Let's run with it. And please, try to think harder than "the Yankees would just buy all of the good players." That doesn't happen now with international signings, and they haven't raised a big Tigers-with-Porcello ruckus in the amateur draft.
Educate me, people: what would be the pros and cons of just chucking this system and going all free-agent?
John Henry Moss, the man who founded the Western Carolinas League in 1948 (which, in turn, became the most recent incarnation of the Sally League) has suffered a stroke. I don't offer this for poignancy or heavy information or anything like that. It's just that I've gone to more than my fair of Sally League and Appalachian League games over the years and, because that whole low level minors experience feels like it's about a million years old, I read the article and had a hard time getting my mind around the notion that a someone who was started those league could still be around and kicking in 2009.
As one park goes down, another goes up:
After more than a decade of negotiating and waiting, a date to begin construction on the Marlins' new retractable-roof ballpark has been set . . . the ceremonial groundbreaking will take place on July 18, the Saturday after the All-Star break . . . Technically, workers will be on the Orange Bowl grounds to start building on July 1. The first few weeks, however, will be devoted to preparing the area for building. The July 18 ceremony will take place hours before the Marlins face the Phillies that night at Land Shark Stadium, the club's home until the new park is ready.
A judge has told The Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy that enough is enough:
"It appears that the plaintiff has been given every opportunity on this project," said Judge Prentis Edwards. "The plaintiff has simply failed to come up with the requisite funding" . . . Edwards said that given the harm to the city and repeated extensions of time for the conservancy to finance its proposal to redevelop what remains of the stadium, emergency relief was not in order.
No matter how sympathetic you are towards the Conservancy's efforts here, at some point you have to face reality, and reality dictates that when a movement with preservation aspirations like the Conservancy has such a difficult time raising the cash it needs in a timely fashion, the viablity and advisability of the preservation project itself is dubious at best. Yes, charitable giving has all but dried up in Detroit and that there are many legitimate reasons why even the best of plans could suffer trouble like this, but if there isn’t the general will or ability to get a Tiger Stadium transformation off the ground, how can anyone expect that there will be the will or ability to maintain a community center or a Michigan Sports Hall of Fame or what have you? Even if the Conservancy were successful in step one, odds are that steps two, three and four would falter in similar fashion and that the remaining portion of Tiger Stadium would be in peril in its new form just as it is in its old form.
Don't get me wrong: I root for Detroit and want to one day see the return of the Detroit in which my parents grew up and which they so fondly recall and recount. I’m a realist, however, and I’ve seen many big preservation and urban renewal ideas like this fizzle in the past. I’m still embarrassed by Autoworld. I worry that whatever Tiger Stadium is attached to will suffer the same fate, and it will once again revert to abandoned property. I’d hate to see that more than I'd hate to see the wrecking balls take down what's left of the best ballpark there ever was.
UPDATE: "Shortly before noon, two cranes, a bulldozer and a water cannon had moved onto the site, and workers with hard hats began to work on the demolition."
Either there wasn't much news this morning or else I couldn't find it. Or I had a case of the Mondays. Whatever the case, it was sluggish going over at the peacock today:
There's a salami on rye in the office fridge with my name on it, and if history holds, it will help me snap back into positive brain function this afternoon (salami is basically a wonder drug). If so, there will be better blogging ahead.
Alex Remington over at the Braves' blog, Chop-n-Change, is looking for some help:
Since Will Schaffer's retirement this winter, our writing staff (Kristi, me, and our occasional guest posters) has been a bit short-handed, and we'd love to bring another new regular writer aboard. We're looking for someone with passion, writing talent, and the commitment to write multiple posts a week about the team. The gig doesn't pay, but it's a great way to get your voice in front of thousands of other Braves fans.
He's accepting sample submissions between now and June 26th on the subject(s) of Nate McLouth and Tommy Hanson. I have nothing to do with the audition process but here's some advice: any post that touches on Gene Garber, Skip Caray, the fat Brian Hunter, Jose Alvarez and Chief Nok-a-Homa will probably have a leg up on the competition.
Click through for details.
This is either (a) some some sort of strange world record attempt or (b) your average Yankees-Red Sox playoff game on FOX.
Diamondbacks 9, Padres 6: Whenever you see a game this long -- 18 innings in case you missed it -- there are always some fun stat lines that shake out. An 0-6 (Giles); a 1-8 with five strikeouts (Headley). Then there's the "so long, suckers" line, which belongs to David Eckstein. Herr Scrappy sits on his kiester for nearly nine full innings, then comes in and, on the very first pitch he sees, hits the pinch hit home run that sends this thing on to its second nine, during all of which he sat on his kiester. At some point over the last, oh, three hours of this game you have to think that there were even some Padres who wished he hadn't done that. Especially if he was back in the clubhouse playing Wii or taking a nap or having a schvitz or something. In other news, sources say that the Dbacks and Padres were going to petition to have this game partitioned so that they could simply apply the second half of it to a future rainout, thus saving everyone time and money. The plan was scrapped, however, when someone remembered that it doesn't rain in Phoenix or San Diego.
Cubs 6, Reds 3: In yet another long game, Dusty Baker shows that he's a more experienced manager than either A.J. Hinch or Bud Black. Knowing that anything beyond 14 innings could kill his pitching staff for the next week, Dusty decides to cut his losses and calls Mike Lincoln into the game to give up the three deciding runs. I mean, I assume that's what Dusty was doing anyway, because it's not like Mike Lincoln has any other uses.
Braves 8, Brewers 7: My comrade tHeMARksMiTh watched Tommy Hanson's inauspicious debut and is somewhat less worried about the young man than those of us who only saw the line score are. Take it away, Mark:
I was very impressed. Adrenaline was obviously present at the start. He hit 97 several times at the beginning but sat around 93-94 for most of the game . . . he was hitting his spots pretty well, especially with his breaking pitches . . .
I'm not particularly worried. For one thing, since everyone's talking about Tom Glavine lately, let us all remember Tom Glavine's first big league line (3.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 1K). For another, you can handle a woofer of an outing like this when Chipper Jones has your back (4-4, 2 HR, 3B, 5 RBI).
Tigers 9, Angels 6: Clete Thomas hits the first grand slam by a man named "Clete" since August 29, 1967. Oh, come on. It's not like the little stat factoids they run on SportsCenter are any less random.
Yankees 4, Rays 3: Hideki Matsui beat out a potential double-play grounder, transforming it into a fielder's choice for the game-winning run. Based on how he has hobbled around every time I've seen him play this year I can only assume that the grounder was to deep left field or something.
Blue Jays 4, Royals 0: Roy Halladay shuts out the Royals on 97 pitches. Rany wants Jeff Francoeur to come to Kansas City. Based on the offensive game plan these guys employ , Frenchy would fit in just find with the Royals.
Rangers 6, Red Sox 3: The Rangers win their first series at Fenway since 1997. David Ortiz looked like this then. I might have given the 1997 David Ortiz the steal sign. I would not have given the 2009 version the steal sign, and I'm not sure why Terry Francona did yesterday either, but he did and he was predictably nailed. Maybe it's just been so long since Ortiz was on base that no one knew what the signs were supposed to be.
Mets 7, Nationals 0: Guys with worse ERAs than Livan Hernandez: Jake Peavy, Aaron Harang, Ryan Dempster, and Cole Hamels.
Indians 8, White Sox 4: Ozzie Guillen after the game "Maybe if I go crazy with the media and [rip] my team . . . I might wake them up. But it's wasting my time." Wait, if it might wake them up, how would that be a waste of his time? They're in slumberland right now. This ain't the Hum-Baby Giants. It's the Ozzie Guillen-led White Sox. If Ozzie's going to refuse to bring the crazy during a losing streak, what's the point of having him around?
Astros 6, Pirates 4: Russ Ortiz throws four and a third innings of scoreless relief after Felipe Paulino hurt his groin slipping on the mound in the second. The game story then runs with this whole "this strong outing should get Russ Ortiz out of long-relief land and back into the rotation" angle. And I guess if Paulino is really hurt it might. But really, didn't Ortiz just do what a good long man is supposed to do? Come in, pitch long, and pitch well? Indeed, he's pitching better out of the bullpen then he had for the past several years as a starter. The guy's probably finally found his freakin' niche in life, and here the AP writer and Ortiz want him to be something he's not. This is how liberal arts majors wind up in law school. Why can't we just let people be who they are?
A's 3, Orioles 0: I've got underwear older than most of the A's starters, but these guys have won six in a row, and that's more exciting than anything my underwear has been involved with recently.
Rockies 7, Cardinals 2: Albert Pujols is such a badass that he hit a two-run sac fly in the first inning, no doubt because the outfielders were gripped by fear. I fully expect Pujols to go 5 for 3 tomorrow night. Apart from Pujols, though, it was the Ubaldo Jimenez show (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 9K).
Mariners 4, Twins 2: Ichiro's hitting streak was snapped on Friday night, but he bounced back to go 5 for 8 on Saturday and Sunday, and is now hitting .356 on the season. I've been predicting that he would crater for a couple of years now, but I think I should get out of that end of the predictions business altogether because he's clearly the kind of guy who's gonna hit .300 until he's about 42 or so. There's one of those guys every generation or so, and he's ours.
Giants 3, Marlins 2: Tim Lincecum held a shutout into the eighth, though he walked as many as he struck out (4), so it's not like he had his best stuff working.
Phillies 7, Dodgers 2: My first thought was that no one would be paying attention to the Dodgers given that the Finals are going on, but then I remembered that Los Angeles is a town that accommodates disparate interests. There are skinny pretty people crawling all over the city, yet seemingly every corner has a donut shop or a joint that sells comically large fattening hamburgers. I suppose they can make room for the Lakers and the Dodgers at the same time.